Local film commission strives to bring Hollywood to the Valley

The Youngstown Regional Film Commission will host two mixers in the downtown area on June 3

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Some famous movies have been filmed around the Youngstown area, like The Deer Hunter, an Academy Award winning movie starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage and Meryl Streep.

Now, there’s a new group trying to bring more of that kind of work back to the area.

The Youngstown Regional Film Commission will hold a mixer on June 3 at the Historical Center of Industry and Labor from noon to 4 p.m.

At the mixer, people will be able to meet the film commission crew and sign up to help either behind-the-scenes or in front of the camera.

“If you want the chance to get on set, extra, background, walking behind, doing whatever, there might be some small speaking roles we’re asking for as well for casting. But for the main part we’re data-basing people. You could sign up and get in front of producers when they come to town as well as vendors. If you’re a business owner and you think your business might support the film industry when they’re here, whether it’s a truck rental company or a car company, let us know,” said the film commission’s executive director, Fred D’Amico.

A second film mixer will also be held that same day, this one from 8 p.m. to midnight at Imbibe Martini Bar.

At this mixer, appetizers, drinks, food, gift baskets and raffles will be available. You must be 21 or older to attend.

D’Amico says he looks at June 3 as a historical day because of all that the Youngstown area has been through. He says part of the day is being held at the steel museum because steel is what Youngstown stands for and what has kept the area strong and hard-working.

“We’ve been trying to hang in the game with any kind of industry, including the oil and gas industry. But we’re looking for something and we believe there is something, looking into the past and looking into the future. The future is happening right now with the Youngstown Regional Film Commission, being geared to drive-in this industry, the film industry,” D’Amico said.

Because of Youngstown’s potential, a few projects are already in the works for the film commission.

“We have a project with Alan Siegel and G-Base Entertainment, which is Gerard Butler’s company. They have a $2 million spend they’ll be doing in our area — portions of that inside the city, other portions wherever it may be. But, Mill Creek Park was a big key point for them. We also have a TV show that’s been scouting our area, looking to come to Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown,” D’Amico said.

For more information about the film commission, visit their website. For more information about the mixers on June 3, check out the Facebook event.